488 mkii tape speed problems


New Member
Aug 15, 2013
Gear owned
244 424mkii 488mkii
Hi everyone,
Long story short: Currently my 488 mkII is playing slower than it was before. My gut feeling is that its the belt. When I hit play, the tape speed will start out fast and then over the next 10 seconds slow down to a constant speed, not extremely slower than normal, but definitely not normal. While its playing, if I take a pen and lightly pull the pinch roller mechanism away from the tape and capstan shaft (not enough to terminate friction altogether), the speed returns to normal. But as soon as I let go it slows down again. I also noticed that the pitch controller is much less responsive when I increase the pitch as opposed to when I decrease. If I quickly turn the pitch control all the way to the right, it takes several seconds for the pitch to slowly speed up, whereas if I quickly turn it all the way to the left it immediately slows down. So, It seems like the normal resistance of the pinch roller against the capstan shaft is actually slowing the capstan shaft down. Could this be due to a stretched belt? Seems like a stretched belt could account for the lagging. I recently took tape mechanism apart and its possible I could have put a little strain on the belt when detaching the motor. But I can't really say for sure until I replace the belt. Anyone have any thoughts or seen these symptoms before?
if not a belt problem perhaps cleaning solution has washed the lubrication out of the oil impregnated capstan bearing that the shaft protrudes up thru... a drop of machine oil from a sowing needle at the base of the capstan shaft might help...and when cleaning press the swab pinching in a paper towel or such to remove excess solution so as to not run down the capstan shaft thru the bearing
i see this post is old and is probably no longer an issue ...i am trying to obtain a replacement belt for mine
good luck, (caveman) Christopher Harvey

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